IMG_6289Recently I had the pleasure and richness of attending a retreat at the IONS Earthrise center north of San Francisco.  We enjoyed the full moon, and witnessed the uncommon and alignment of Jupiter and Venus with stunning clear skies.  Click to enlarge this second picture and you can actually see both planets!IMG_6286

It was my first TR, or Transfiguration Retreat.  (This is what the gathering is called in Waking Down, the contemporary spiritual path I have spoken of recently, and which is resonating with me these days.)

What I’d like to share with you about the retreat was a helpful way of holding a core paradox of our human condition, (which I also spoke about in Line Dancing): the seeming contradiction that “we are finite, limited beings, incomplete, messy, struggling… and at the same time we are limitless, expansive, and not separate from All that is.” In other words, we are both human and divine at the very same time.  I have believed this for some time, and over the years have come to know it more and more deeply in my being.

But still, there are times when I grapple with this paradox: how can this judgemental, self-doubting, mean-spirited, kind, creative, messy creature full of contradictions, ME :-), be ineffably, completely and inseparably one with the Divine, the All, the Infinite.  I am the Onlyness and the Onlyness is I.  I am, we all are, divinely human.

(I certainly respect philosophies and religions that teach a different message.  This is the one that has come to resonate with me, after years of exploration.)

At the TR I was working with a kind and compassionate, skilled and articulate teacher, who pointed out some cosmic algebra.  At one point he said to me, “Jill, the truth of the infinite perfection and oneness does not cancel out the truth of our finite, relative lives.  And the truth of our challenging, limited, physical lives does not cancel out the perfection of Being, our Oneness with the Infinite.”

Whopper!  Such a concise and helpful way of holding the paradox, living it, knowing it!  I feel my heart open now as I feel and know both: the reality of my ego, my body, my preferences, my strengths and my weaknesses, and the reality that I am also, at the same time, the unity, the seamlessness, the perfection of the All.

As we become really whole, fully aware of our humanness and our divinity, we can truly live in the world, be fully here, alive, engaged, and also fully and perfectly connected, one with, our divine, transcendent natures.  An embodied awakening.  What a gift, to ourselves, Being, the Mystery, and the world!

51-VJ8iXeHL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_There is a beautiful book about this by a WD teacher, CC Leigh: Becoming Divinely Human.  Have a look if you are interested to learn more about the path and the paradox.

And after the retreat, I spent a lovely weekend with my cousin, Suzy, who lives in nearby Albany.  We had a blast! IMG_6300

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, andgrowth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)

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